It’s the second morning of December. True to form, I started a Thanksgiving newsletter before Thanksgiving but didn’t finish it in time. I’ve cherished grand ambitions about the scope and detail of the letter, but today I want to write something short and sweet.
Today I want to write about the Christmas cactus in bloom, and the delicious cup of tea I’m drinking, and the way Gus likes to lie across my arms while I type.
This was the year David and I got married, the year we moved from Massachusetts to Kansas, the year we changed everything all at once. It was a wonderful year. It was a difficult year.
In March I played Maria in The Sound of Music, fulfilling a long time dream.
In May David graduated from Emerson with a master’s degree in theatre education.
In June I said goodbye to Stoneridge Children’s Montessori School. I had a beautiful bridal shower and a lakeside weekend with beloved friends. I’m pretty sure I laughed as much as I cried in June. I don’t think a person can ask for more than that.
Now we live in the heart of the country. Two weeks ago David directed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Truesdell Middle School. They haven’t put on a show at Truesdell since 1967.
I’ve been writing and skyping voice lessons and teaching yoga. I cook more. I keep the window full of herbs.
These first four months in Wichita have drained away my illusions of control. I submit essays to resounding silence. I follow work leads that fizzle away. David’s job has been hard, and there’s not much I can do to help.
Can I tell you how grateful I feel as I look back upon this year? In the midst of enormous change, we’ve received so many precious moments with people we love. I have too many photos. It’s taking all morning to upload the scantest sampling.
We spent Thanksgiving weekend with the Draper clan in Colorado. We played epic card games and sang Christmas carols around the piano. When we left, the family sang “So Long, Farewell” from the front porch.
I’ll be 33 at the end of the month, and life still feels like a terrifying, delicious adventure. I watch my former students begin to finish college, and I’m as curious to see what I’ll become as I am to see what they’ll become.
Now the days grow dark again, and I give myself over to the mystery of this new season. David and I have both struggled this year. We’re far from understanding why we’re here or what the future holds, but each evening we settle into a soft gratitude for the life we are building together.
Mary Oliver said it best. There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But, who wants easier?